Munich maglev train project not in jeopardy

2nd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 July 2004 , MUNICH - Discounting reports about possible financial shortfalls, the chief executive of Germany's rail company Deutsche Bahn, Hartmut Mehdorn, said Friday that plans for the high-speed magnetic levitation train Transrapid in Munich were not in danger. At a symposium about the Transrapid in the southern German city, Mehodorn said reports about financial problems were premature because the actual costs have not yet even been published as the project is still in the early planning stages. "I be

2 July 2004

MUNICH - Discounting reports about possible financial shortfalls, the chief executive of Germany's rail company Deutsche Bahn, Hartmut Mehdorn, said Friday that plans for the high-speed magnetic levitation train Transrapid in Munich were not in danger.

At a symposium about the Transrapid in the southern German city, Mehodorn said reports about financial problems were premature because the actual costs have not yet even been published as the project is still in the early planning stages.

"I believe that there is no alternative here in Munich," Mehdorn said about the plans for the maglev route between the city centre and the airport some 40 kilometres away.

His comments came after figures were leaked from a federal Berlin government experts report estimating the cost of the project at EUR 1.85 billion, some EUR 250 million more than previously given by the state government of Bavaria.

This prompted Albert Schmidt the transportation policy expert in national parliament for the environmentalist Greens party - which is opposed to the Transrapid - to express doubts about the feasibility of the Munich project.

But Mehdorn on Friday stressed that the costs, economic feasibility and financing will be carefully studied so that a price calculation for the Munich maglev can be established. He said this would take place by the spring of next year.

The dispute is the latest in a long history of controversy in Germany about the Transrapid, which can attain speeds of upwards of 400 kilometres per hour but which has yet to be built on a commercial basis in the country.

So far, the only commercial Transrapid project is the 30-kilometre maglev link between Shanghai and Pudong airport which started up in 2003.

DPA

Subject: German news

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